SCAR 2004 Preview

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The Society for Computer Applications in Radiology kicks off its 21st annual meeting on May 19th in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Highlights of the four-day forum that runs through May 23rd will include more than 75 original scientific papers, posters and demonstrations on computer applications in radiology, including image processing, PACS implementation and speech recognition technology.

This year's keynote address will come from Leo Black, MD, retired CEO of the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla. Black spent 34 years at Mayo and became CEO in 1990. Through his efforts and initiatives, Mayo today is a paperless and filmless outpatient practice. His presentation will discuss using IT to automate medical practice, outline methods to reduce expenses and improve patient care, and look at future change in medical practice. The keynote address is scheduled for May 20 at 8 a.m.




SCAR AGENDA

SCAR opens on May 19th with its PACS Administrators Overview Course. The day-long event - which includes an overview of PACS administration, how to get ready for PACS, a look at PACS architecture and understanding workflow - has a registration fee of $200, which includes meals and course syllabus. On hand will be George H. Bowers, associate with Health Care Information Consultants LLC, and Paul G. Nagy, PhD, director of radiology informatics laboratory at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

SCAR also has four days of Special Sessions scheduled throughout the annual meeting. Each session lasts approximately two hours and is scheduled throughout the day so they do not overlap.

On May 20, SCAR will offer Special Sessions on PDAs (personal digital assistants), the SCAR Expert Hotline and Online Archive, and Addressing the Coming Radiology Crisis: Current Status of the SCAR TRIP (Transforming the Radiological Interpretation Process) Initiative.

On May 21, the Sessions will cover PACS in the Community Setting, Optimizing the Man/Machine Interface, and What Engineers and IT Professionals Need to Know about Radiology. Three more sessions are set for May 22 - Enterprise Image Management - PACS Beyond Radiology; the CR-DR Debate; and The Web Warrior's Workshop.

The rest of the agenda includes introductory and senior-level courses, scientific sessions, roundtable discussions, hospital tours and vendor presentations.



SCAR 2004 FACTS & FIGURES

Pre-conference session
Wednesday, May 19 PACS Administration
Overview Course 9:00 am - 5:00 pm;
Hyatt Regency Hotel Regency C&D Ballroom

Registration hours
  • Wednesday, May 19 5:00 pm-8:00 pm
  • Thursday, May 20 6:30 am-5:30 pm
  • Friday, May 21 7:00 am-5:00 pm
  • Saturday, May 22 7:00 am-5:00 pm
  • Sunday, May 23 7:00 am-9:00 am

Exhibit hall hours
  • Thursday, May 20 (Opening Reception Exhibit Hall) 4:30 pm-6:30 pm
  • Friday, May 21 9:30 am-5:00 pm
  • Saturday, May 22 9:30 am-5:00 pm



THE EXHIBITORS

The SCAR 2004 exhibit hall will be filled with more than 100 vendors, with wares ranging from imaging devices to full-scale PAC systems to componentry that make up a PACS, such as monitors and archives.

Medical and technical furniture maker AFC Industries Inc. (College Point, N.Y.) is introducing its new height-adjustable MaxFlex Series at SCAR. The furniture's work surface height adjusts at the touch of a button to accommodate individual users.

The series includes a range of single-tier carts - rectangular, corner and bean-shaped - dual-tier carts, telescopic carts and workstations. All items are available with a full range of shelves, keyboard trays, storage compartments and other accessories.

Codonics is showing its newest dry medical imager, touting Horizon's capabilities as a film imager, color imager and grayscale paper printer. Horizon outputs diagnostic-quality images on 14-in. by 17-in. and 8-in. by 10-in. film, in both blue and clear base. It also prints color and grayscale images on paper in a variety of sizes.

The mobile Horizon occupies just two feet of desk space and weighs 70 pounds. It also holds three input cassette trays that accommodate 300 sheets of dry film or color paper in any combination of sizes.

Data Ray Corp. is unveiling its AD Cal 11 at SCAR 2004. AD Cal 11 offers a three mega-pixel LCD flat-panel with self-calibration and more than 7,000 shades of gray. The stand-alone self-calibration sets the luminance and configures the panel for DICOM, CIE, HL7 and other standards. The calibration is independent from the operating system and does not require a computer to set calibration parameters or perform calibration. A five-year warranty also is available with AD Cal 11.

Dynamic Imaging debuts its IntegradWebTM 3.3, the latest version of its second-generation fully Web-driven PACS.

Enhanced features of the PACS include: an upgraded user interface; improved web-driven 3D capabilities, including the ability to append 3D results and processed images directly to a study; and enhanced user interface streamlining 3D image manipulation. Extended IHE-compliant integration capabilities include an advanced new HL7 integration engine enabling fine-grained matching of orders and studies and closing the loop with speech-recognition systems and clinical portals.

Eastman Kodak Co. is offering a new worldwide network capability for its Secure E-Mail Service and enhancements to its Professional Services portfolio. The Health Imaging group also will show the newest version of software for its RIS 2010 system and a Kodak DirectView PACS System 5 with the new Kodak DirectView Versatile Intelligent Patient Archive (VIParchive) software for storing DICOM and non-DICOM data.

Fujifilm Medical Systems USA Inc. is expanding its Performance Services with the addition of Active Monitoring to Synapse PACS Emerald Service Plans. The application is designed to continuously and securely monitor a facility's Synapse network, logging performance metrics and key operating information, thereby proactively detecting and remedying any system irregularities and ensuring the system remains fully functional and without interruption for its users. Active Monitoring also generates customized reports for the evaluation of performance metrics and to provide business decision support.

Fuji also is demonstrating Flex UI, the first computed radiography (CR) software application with an interface that is customizable to the user. The system is designed for maximum flexibility for technologists, combining Fuji's ease-of-use with an interface that enables users to define their workflow steps according to departmental protocol and preferences. Flex UI also features fewer image-production steps and the ability to run on any number of platforms, including tablet PCs or PDAs.

InSiteOne is introducing at SCAR its InDex service provider for mammography. InSiteOne InDex services for mammography will provide storage options specifically designed to accommodate the large mammography data sets; ultra-fast, local access of up to three years of studies to support the intensive prior-study comparison needs; and cost-effective pricing structures to accommodate limited mammography reimbursements and other financial constraints facing mammography centers.

The full range of DICOM storage options and related services will be available for InDex Mammography clients, including short-term on-site storage on RAID or SAN, as well as secure off-site permanent archiving on DVD in two redundant data centers.

Web-based PACS from Intelerad Medical Systems Inc. introduces a range of premium features for its IntelePACS InteleViewer at SCAR 2004.

IntelePACS InteleViewer is a rapid-access web-based DICOM viewer based on the latest JPEG 2000 technology. New to the InteleViewer are: image selection and annotation tools; intelligent auto-window-leveling algorithms; enhancements to its advanced Layout Manager and the ability to create 'virtual series'; and new user-specific preferences.

IntelePACS also supports HL7 communications, DICOM modality worklists, RIS/HIS pre-fetching, and worklist-driven reporting.

Merge eFilm is highlighting the release of its single desktop integration between its Fusion RIS (RIS Logic module) and Fusion PACS radiology workflow technology in its new Fusion RIS/PACS product in addition to the latest release of eFilm Workstation Version 1.9.

Merge describes Fusion RIS/PACS as a unified, single desktop technology designed to accelerate productivity by integrating and streamlining business and clinical workflow and allowing images and information to be distributed faster and more efficiently across the enterprise. Features include image distribution utilizing image- streaming and multiple routing processes in a single system; a single, integrated desktop to utilize RIS, PACS, dictation, document management, billing and practice analysis; and interoperability between RIS and PACS utilizing standards-based integration allows the radiologist to launch associated current and prior images in the diagnostic viewer from within a RIS radiologist's worklist.

eFilm Workstation's new features include customizable toolbars to display only needed tools when viewing various types of studies; improvements in 3D volume rendering including image quality and performance and opacity and color mapping to better illustrate anatomy in the volume; and a Japanese language version of the workstation.

NovaRad is showing its OrthopedicPACS, designed specifically for orthopedic surgeons, the Orthocrat TraumaCad/NovaPACS product, called OrthopedicPACS, integrates patented Ortho tools with a NovaPACS workstation. Built-in Ortho tools and a complete template library including screws, nails, plates, and prosthesis devices assist in preplanning. In addition, the software offers procedure simulation capabilities for fracture reduction, osteotomy, and trauma.

Also on display will be NovaWeb, which allows sharing access to full 16-bit DICOM images and radiologist reports with almost anyone. Each user gets fully-functional access that allows for individual window/ level, zoom, pan, measuring and annotation, as well as the ability to compare case studies side-by-side. NovaWeb also features password management and 128-bit HIPAA-compliant encryption to assure image security.

Orex Computed Radiography is introducing new options for its next-generation compact, lightweight and affordable ACLxy computed radiography (CR) scanner. Highlighted by enhanced processing speed and a footprint 50 percent less than its predecessor, the advanced Orex ACLxy offers what the company calls a "new concept in CR product design." The Orex ACLxy is designed for 75 plates-per-hour speed, while the dual-scanner RAIS II ACLxy (Redundant Array Integrated System) scans up to 150 plates per hour.

At SCAR 2004, Orex also will show configurations for advanced mammography that scans images at 50 micron resolution, using special borderless cassettes for enhanced image quality; computer-aided detection (CAD) bone mineral densitometry, developed with Compumed Inc., which uses the Orex CR to scan images of the patient's hand as the source for CompuMed's Osteogram reports; and orthopedic long-bone and related exams, utilizing two ultra-long cassettes and stitching advanced software.

Siemens Medical Solutions USA Inc. will show a host of products, including its SIENET Magic RIS/PACS designed for large enterprises to streamline medical imaging processes into one digital network from registration and diagnosis to archiving.

In addition, SIENET Cosmos is a web-based, integrated radiology suite for large imaging centers and community hospitals. Cosmos is designed for continuous workflow from registration and reporting to image archiving and results distribution.

Siemens Outpatient Practice Management Solution (SOPMS) is designed to provide a comprehensive practice management tool to increase efficiency, improve care and reduce cost. Through full integration with SIENET PACS and DICOM-enabled technology, SOPMS looks to provide clinical and patient centric information across an enterprise wide-area networked environment.

Siemens' KinetDx offers an open architecture to seamlessly integrate virtually any ultrasound system with virtually any hospital information system. KinetDx helps build the foundation for an electronic patient record and synchronize care hospital-wide.

TeraRecon has partnered with Fukuda-Denshi to offer a portable color Doppler ultrasound system, which, TeraRecon says, provides all the functionality of many mid-range systems for less cost.

TeraRecon also will show its Aquarius Sonic ultrasound products for image review, distribution and storage based on its patented server, networking and diagnostic workstation technology. AquariusNet Sonic is an image server for site-wide or multi-site review of ultrasound images on standard PCs.

U.S. Electronics Inc. (USEI) is unveiling a new flat-panel display system and 24/7 performance monitoring software for precise display tracking. All monitors are DICOM-Part-14 compliant and feature ultra-long-life backlighting for an extended product lifetime.

New at SCAR is the high-bright grayscale ME213L LCD, a high-contrast, two mega-pixel display for multi-modality applications, including CT and MRI. The 21.3-inch monitor has a wide viewing angle of 170 degrees and contrast of 700:1.

The high-bright, color CCL212 LCD is a two mega-pixel, 21.3-inch monitor for a variety of medical imaging modalities, including CT and MR. The monitor features a 170-degree wide viewing angle and contrast of 500:1.

Voxar is presenting several new advances in its Voxar 3D software, designed for the enhanced integration of 3D in PACS.

Voxar 3D integrations allows the user to launch Voxar 3D directly within the PACS workstation, so the user can access the MPR and 3D tools in a single mouse click. Voxar says with other technologies, users must switch between different programs or different workstations to use two products in parallel.

Voxar also will deliver its first clinical application - Voxar Colonscreen - integrated into PACS. Voxar's CT colonography software for early, non-invasive detection of colorectal cancer will be made available to PACS vendors to integrate into their PACS workstation.

Double Black Imaging (DBI) will have several new additions to their product line-up at SCAR 2004, including self-calibrating LCDs with retractable sensors and a remote administrative calibration package. DBI also has added a new color 1.3 mega-pixel LCD, as well as a two mega-pixel (MP) color LCD.

The new WIDE M series of displays will feature an electronic front sensor that emerges from the bezel then retracts when calibration is complete, eliminating any permanent protrusion into the active area of the LCD. The new line includes 2 MP, 3 MP and 5 mega-pixel LCDs that are driven by a high-speed digital graphic controller.

The 2 mega-pixel was released in April; the 3MP and 5MP models are set for release in May.

The new color products include a 1.3 mega-pixel, IF1801C and a 2 mega-pixel, the IF1902C with bonded protective panels for added durability. DBI says the color line can replace most existing review or modality CRT monitors and accepts analog, digital, S-Video or VCR inputs.

R2 Technology Inc. heads to SCAR to promote its ImageChecker CT lung CAD system. The ImageChecker CT technology received the approval recommendation from a FDA Advisory Panel and an approvable letter for the computer-aided detection (CAD) of suspicious lung nodules using CT as an imaging modality. Features include workflow-enhancing tools, such as automatic measurement and characterization information of the detected lung nodule.